Federal appeals court OKs Ohio law aimed at abortion funding

Federal appeals court OKs Ohio law aimed at abortion funding

[Ed. – The tug-of-war continues.]

A divided federal appeals court Tuesday upheld an Ohio anti-abortion law that blocks public money for Planned Parenthood.

The full 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower federal court ruling. The Ohio law targeted funding that Planned Parenthood receives through the state’s health department. That money is mostly from the federal government and supports education and prevention programs.

The law bars such funds from entities that perform or promote abortions.

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Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote the opinion for an 11-6 majority, saying the judges rejected the contention by two Planned Parenthood affiliates that the Ohio law imposes an unconstitutional condition on public funding.

“The affiliates are correct that the Ohio law imposes a condition on the continued receipt of state funds. But that condition does not violate the Constitution because the affiliates do not have a due process right to perform abortions,” Sutton wrote.

Sutton wrote for the majority that while Planned Parenthood contends that the Ohio law will unconstitutionally deprive women of the right to access abortion services without undue burden, that conclusion is premature and speculative because Planned Parenthood has stated it will continue to provide abortion services.

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